This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Monday, April 5, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Having witnessed the resurrection of Christ,
let us bow down to the holy Lord Jesus!
—And we bow to your cross, O Christ,
as we worship your holy resurrection!
God gives a home to the lonely,
freeing prisoners like a hero.
The oppressors shall live in their tombs.
O God, you went out with your people,
and when you marched through the desert
the earth quaked and the heavens dripped
before the face of the God of Sinai,
before the face of the God of Israel.
You sent abundant rain, O God, to your heritage.
It was languishing but you refreshed it.
You creatures will live in it;
you prepared it for the poor in your kindness.
From Basil’s Long Rules, Question 6, cont.
In such a quiet place we could wipe away the stains of sin by assiduous prayer and persevering meditation on the will of God. It is impossible to gain proficiency in meditation and prayer, however, when a storm of distractions is dragging the soul around and permeating it with anxieties connected with the affairs of this life. Can anyone ever really fulfill this command, “If anyone wants to follow me, that person must give up himself.” Yes, we have to give up our selves, pick up the cross of Christ and follow him in this way. Self-denial means forgetting the past completely and surrendering one’s will—a very difficult, if not to say impossible, task to achieve—while living amidst the customary promiscuity of the world. Beyond that, the social interaction demanded by living in such a climate is an even greater obstacle to shouldering the cross in order to follow Christ. Readiness to die for Christ, the mortification of one’s body on earth, readiness for every danger which might befall us on behalf of Christ’s name, detachment from this life—all this is part of taking up one’s cross, and so we consider the obstacles arising from a life in society a major impediment.
Give us to share of that new drink, O God, not one produced from a barren rock but from the very Fountain of immortality, springing up from the tomb of Christ, for in him is our enduring strength! Amen! Alleluia!